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10 Best Mutual Funds of 2011 You've Never Heard Of


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Delaware Smid Cap Growth (DFDIX) ("smid" for small- and mid-cap)

Performance: up 10.3%; three-year annualized return of 29%, placing it in the top 1% of its category. It has a 15-year average annual return of 8%.

Fund Profile: Christopher Bonavico and Kenneth Broad, co-managers since the start of 2010, take a long-term view to investing in quality growth stocks trading at a discount to intrinsic value.

Assets: $1 billion

Top picks: Weight Watchers International (WTW), the largest holding at 5.7%, up 56%; Perrigo (PRGO), the second-largest holding at 5.2%, up 54%; Peet's Coffee (PEET), 4% of fund, up 45%.

GMO Quality (GQETX)

Performance: up 10%; three-year annualized return of 12.5%.

Fund Profile: This fund invests only in companies with below-average debt and above-average profitability and earnings stability.

Its managers, including William Joyce, are bottom-up stock-pickers. As a result, the portfolio is currently made up of large-cap companies in the consumer staples, health-care and technology sectors, with no significant exposure to financials.

The fund is aimed at institutional investors, as the smallest initial investment in the various share classes is $10 million.

Assets: $18 billion

Top picks: Microsoft (MSFT), at 5.8% of the fund, down 5%; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 5.7% of fund, up 6%; Philip-Morris (PM), up 33%.

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